Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I love Wikileaks. But Please Don't Interfere With Our Next Election.

I tried to send this letter to Wikileaks but there isn't Email contact information on the Wikileaks site so I will post it here and mail modified versions of it to letters/opinion pages of newspapers.

It is Truthiocity's Official Policy that Wikileaks does Rock. Asange may or may not be a commie pinko semi-sorta-not really-but-at-least-we-got-the-rumor-out-there rapist. ( I and everyone else in the world seriously doubt that last one - the timely exposure of a targets supposed sexual activities/alcohol and drug use/sanity/cannibalism by, er, certain government bodies, has not been entirely unknown to have happened in the past. If he was a bloodthirsty psychopathic warlord or a tin pot fascist dictator it would be one thing. But he ain't- so it's in bad taste to pull this crap. )

It's absolutely hysterical to see right/conservative leaning sites calling for his head in one post and then saying "see? We were right about xxx because Wikilieaks confirms what we've been saying all along!"  I have taken advantage of their reporting on this blog to toot my own measly horn as well (see the post "I am so smart! I am so smart! I am so smart!" below).

All that being said,

It is my humble(ish) opinion that to release any leaks about American diplomatic or military matters during the Presidential Election would be damaging to the democratic process. It will put Mr. Asange and Wikileaks in the same boat as the people who illegally knocked African American voters off the voting rolls in 2000, the republican appointee judges who helped George Bush II steal the election of 2000, the Swifboaters of 2004, those who manipulated color alerts preceding the 2004 election and, those behind the manipulation of electronic voting machines in 2004 (don't you dare say it didn't happen). It will look like Wikileaks is attempting to manipulate an election.

Mr. Asange will no longer be able to claim any sort of impartiality or objectivity.

I am not arguing for any particular side. There is a Democratic president in the whitehouse now and cables about the current administration will damage a democratic candidate as revelations about the previous president would damage a republican candidate. Revelations about democratic and republican administrations both could cause general disaffection and lowered voter turn out in general and confirm assertions in many minds that Wikileaks is really an anti American operation of a foreign government.

The press and "commentators" will spend time discussing what Wikileaks intentions might be rather then discussing the candidates or issues.

In the heat of an election people may not realize that cables are what the government is saying to itself and can inform about the governments decision process but THEY ARE NOT THE SAME AS FINAL DECISIONS on the subjects being discussed. A discussion on a subject incorporates information from many sources and opinions before a decision is made. I am sure Wikileaks knows this. I am sure most people know this. Unfortunately the leaks may not be presented that way when reported and "commented" on.

It would be very tempting to release something big a few days before a debate in order to influence what is discussed. It would be very tempting to release information that might affect the platforms of the candidates.

Of course drop a big one on day one after the election is decided or on day one of a new administration. but releasing revelations during the election would cause damage to the democratic process of the election itself.

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